Hoplophobia Kills

No justice for Erik Scott – gunned down for legally carrying a gun.

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Hoplophobia Killed Erik Scott

Phoenix, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Erik Scott was a West Point graduate with an MBA from Duke.

He served honorably in the Army and establish a lucrative career in real estate and as a sales rep for a medical device company.

He was 38 years old when he was gunned down in the portico of a Las Vegas area Costco store by officers from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

While it was 7 bullets from the only people we’re supposed to trust with guns that snuffed out Erik Scott’s life, what really killed him was an irrational fear of firearms – hoplophobia.

Scott and his girlfriend were shopping in the Costco when he was challenged by a store manager after Scott’s lawfully carried handgun was spotted as he squatted down to examine some merchandise. He argued briefly with the manager about the store’s “No Guns” policy after identifying himself as a lawful Nevada concealed weapons permit holder.

Witnesses said Scott did raise his voice in obvious frustration over the policy, but that it didn’t seem like a big deal. They saw nothing particularly threatening about the incident or the clean-cut, good looking young man. The store manager seemed satisfied by Scott’s reassurances and was OK with him finishing his shopping.

But another store employee was already on the line with police, reporting an armed “Green Beret” acting erratically in the store.

That report, based on irrational fear, along with a store policy based on irrational fear, turned into tragedy when the irrational fear factor kept going up a notch each time the report was relayed. Las Vegas MPD issued a city-wide alert, cordoned off the area, and deployed a helicopter and two Mobile Command Centers. Someone decided to evacuate the store and Scott and his girlfriend fell in with other patrons flowing out of the exit door. Three MPD officers were waiting just outside with guns drawn. Someone identified Scott and the lead officer began yelling “Stop! Don’t move! Drop the gun! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!”

He fired these conflicting commands in quick succession giving Scott no opportunity to comply with any of them and then fired two rounds at Scott’s chest. The other officers opened up a moment later as Scott fell to the ground, firing 5 additional rounds into his back. The entire encounter – from the officer’s first shout to the last shot – lasted no more than 5 or 6 seconds. The first round struck Erik Scott in the heart, the second hit his right thigh.

Numerous witnesses reported that they saw Scott turn and say something about a permit before he was shot. Many said they could see both of his hands and that he made no threatening move. All agreed that the only gun they saw was the one still in Scott’s waistband on his right hip. EMTs reported that they removed Scott’s gun and holster in the ambulance, but the gun, still in the holster, later appeared in crime-scene photos on the ground near where Scott had fallen. After police broke into Scott’s apartment and confiscated the firearms there, the story came out that Scott was carrying two guns that day, and that the second gun, a Ruger LCP in his front pocket, was the one EMTs reported.

They claimed Scott pointed his Kimber .45 at them. The store’s video surveillance system inexplicably malfunctioned for the several seconds of the shooting.

A coroner’s inquest concluded that the shooting was justified. Similar inquests have concluded that LVMPD officer involved shootings were justified in 199 out of 200 incidents. That process has since been changed slightly – thanks to efforts of the Scott family – but the new procedures have been blocked by suits from the police union. The family recently dropped a federal wrongful death suit after they were convinced that they had no hope of winning with the system stacked against them.

Scott’s father, Bill Scott, a former Air Force flight test engineer and writer for the prestigious aerospace magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology, has painted a sympathetic, fictionalized portrait of Erik and the events of that day as part of a new novel he is offering in serialized form at http://thePermit.blogspot.com. He hopes to maintain awareness of Erik’s tragic death, the flawed system that caused it, and the corrupt system that covered it up.

The police have a difficult job. They are put in positions and asked to do things that most of us would run away from, but authority and power must be tempered with responsibility and accountability. It is critical that these public servants be protected from frivolous suits and baseless harassment, but they must be held accountable for their actions, and investigations into their activities must be beyond reproach. That is not the case currently.

When one person’s irrational fear of a peacefully armed man can result in that man being gunned down by police – with no consequences for anyone except the victim and his friends and family – something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Hoplophobia killed Erik Scott and a corrupt system allowed his accusers and executioners to get away with it.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org

  • 9 thoughts on “Hoplophobia Kills

    1. DocHoliday916,

      I respectfully submit that it is you acting as the illiterate dullard. Adam L. did not write about the drugs. Jim did.

      Re-read and re-think, then do the right thing.

    2. Adam, you need to take a reading for comprehension class ASAP. If Eric was on any medication, it was legally prescribed. He was carrying his guns LEGALLY. He spoke with the store manager and the manager was fine with him being there and continuing his shopping. You are truly a dullard.

    3. "The police have a difficult job. They are put in positions and asked to do things that most of us would run away from, but authority and power must be tempered with responsibility and accountability."

      And they are all volunteers for the job. No one forced their hand to take the job.

      Bill Scott was also a volunteer who graduated from West Point and accepted the potential hazards of his profession in the Army.

      The problem is that I keep reading and reading too many of these stories. Is the press too sensational or the cops lacking proper situational awareness and judgement?

      Cops don't like being recorded and enforce laws that don't exist to threaten and intimidate those recording; they who also pay the taxes, their wages and ask for accountability. They are public servants acting like masters with deadly force to back them up. Law enforcement these days seems to be more of "make it up as it goes along" versus what really is the law. Ignorance with a badge is turning deadly to the public it serves.

      Across the nation, with stories like this, cops are losing my confidence and I'm a law and order guy but if they are losing the hearts and minds of people like me, there will eventually come a day when the public pushes back and pushes back hard. Americans are a patient people but we are moving in the direction of critical mass. If law enforcement fails to act, the taxpayers will and in ways the LEO's are not going to like.

      Finally, I can predict a response, "You weren't there, you don't know what it is like yada yada yada…" I gave my country 22 years, one Cold, one Gulf War and a couple of other hazardous duties in locations that weren't exactly friendly or garden spots.

      Suck it up LEO's and start using some judgement rather than going from zero to gun in a micro second when not warranted. You accepted the risks of your profession, you are volunteers and if you don't like the terms of your service as public servants, get the hell out and find another act to make your bones before another situation like this occurs again.

    4. Let me get this straight: A guy goes to a costco while intoxicated on illegally had narcotics, illegally carrying 2 handguns, is asked to leave by the store (trespassing) and didn't, and then attempts to leave the store when it is evacuated. Hoplophobia didn't kill Erik Scott, his addiction to Xanax and hydrocodine did.

    5. First, don't argue with people (or cops, etc.) if you are carrying! If you are in their store or on their property (it is their rules–so shut the hell up and leave politely)it is not your place to sell them on you and your gun handling or permit and it is not their job to listen to you either.

      If you think there will be a call to the cops then immediately seek out mall security or the closest cop and introduce yourself and give them the story right away so as to preempt the problem when the Walter Mitty Municipal Mercenaries arrive.

      The shots in the back and front appears to mean the cops cross fired each other. Were there thru and thru holes in the ground from his back shots?

      And yes, when a cop shoots someone even his own kid, partner or anyone else they are found to be accidental (the gun just magically went off on its own) or justified 99.9% It's the system. Remember, there is no justice in the justice system.

    6. i live in Vegas. that was a bad shoot all around.

      Mr. Scott had a large amount of pain-killer medication in him and shouldn't have been carrying that day. he was acting erratically and a store clerk overreacted. the cops confronted him in a crowded area and shouted all those orders at him and he responded by pulling out his CCW .45 still in the holster. the Vegas cops are gunfighters, too ready to shoot, and they did.

      pretty much both sides were wrong on this one and a man died.

    7. Yes there is fear of spiders, snakes, guns and what have you. These fears are irrational and society cannot be governed by these fears and therefore people seek treatment and they should be encourged to do so. The officer was probably scared sh—-less when he shouted commands and did not allow Erik Scott to respond. I am not defending the officer, but I do believe our law enforcement needs more training for these confrontations; a lot more. Lastly, the judge wrongly supported manipulation of evidence and should have doggedly supported what was right and not just accepted what glaringly appeared to be tainted.

    8. We should know the name of the employee who called the police as well as the name of every officer involved in the execution. We should make their lives a living hell.

    9. I read this story and didn't know if I should cry, shout out in anger, sit there in shock, or if I wanted vengeance against the heartless, cruel, inhumane and corrupt Las Vegas PD. We are living in tyranny, Citizens. We are living in tyranny under the command and control of a nation full of jackbooted thugs. They have the legal right to gun us down and then convince the world it was our own d*mn fault. Is anybody else as sick and tired of the oppression we deal with every day? I AM!! When are We the People going to stand up as one and actually DO SOMETHING about it?!?

      Remember 1776 and Keep Your Powder Dry!

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